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Bipolar Disorder Specialist

Psychiatrist located in Fairfax, VA, Alexandria, VA, Washington, DC

Psychiatrist located in Fairfax, VA, Alexandria, VA, Washington, DC

Unmanaged bipolar disorder can leave you exhausted from the relentless changes in mood. If you’re having manic episodes that switch to depression and back again without end, Dr. Ifeanyi Olele at Genesis Psychiatric Solutions can help. At his offices in Fairfax, VA, Alexandria, VA, Washington, DC, Dr. Olele offers ongoing support for patients with bipolar disorder, including medications and psychotherapy. Call the office nearest you today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.

Bipolar Disorder Q & A

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder causes dramatic changes in your mood and energy levels. These changes are disruptive and draining and have a significant impact on your ability to manage everyday life.

The three forms of bipolar disorder are bipolar 1, bipolar 2, and cyclothymic.

What is bipolar 1 disorder?

Bipolar 1 disorder is the most severe form of this condition. Manic episodes can last a week or longer, where you feel full of energy and unable to switch off. During a manic phase, you might exhibit symptoms like:

  • Overinflated self-esteem
  • Reduced need for sleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Speaking too loud and fast
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Irritability and anger
  • Physical overexertion
  • Engaging in risk-taking behaviors
  • Spending money you can’t afford

Manic episodes make you feel overconfident and ready to take on the world. Your behaviors are likely out of character and may even be dangerous.

When the manic episodes fade, you go into a severe depression where you might find it hard to get out of bed, feel exceptionally tired, and suffer intense feelings like guilt and self-loathing. You might self-harm or consider suicide during the depressive phase of bipolar disorder.

What are bipolar 2 disorder and cyclothymic disorder?

Bipolar 2 disorder is, in many ways, a less extreme version of bipolar 1 disorder. Between your depressed and manic phases, you might have times when life feels more normal, but the episodes of depression can be particularly bad with bipolar 2 disorder.

Cyclothymic disorder causes less severe symptoms, and you’re more likely to experience hypomania (a milder form of mania). The alterations in mood from depression to mania are typically frequent and more constant with cyclothymic disorder.

What treatments are available for bipolar disorder?

While bipolar disorder does cause some identifiable symptoms, every patient’s experience is unique to them. Therefore, Dr. Olele personalizes your bipolar disorder treatment to suit your needs.

Medications often help a great deal with bipolar disorder. Options include:

  • Mood stabilizers
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Anti-anxiety medications

There are various formulations, combinations, and doses of these medicines, and it can take time to find the ideal treatment. Gene testing can help identify the medication that suits your body best.

Psychotherapy is another essential treatment for bipolar disorder. Talking therapies can help you understand bipolar disorder better and learn to manage your condition more effectively. 

Specific techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are also useful as they help you deal with life from day to day.

If you’re struggling with exhausting mood swings or you haven’t found the right treatment for bipolar disorder yet, call Genesis Psychiatric Solutions today or book an appointment online.